June 21, 2016
COMMENT: It is not often that I endorse Zaid Ibrahim’s views but on the subject of the future democratic elections for our country, I am on the same page with him.
Our elections since Dr. Mahathir’s premiership have not been free and fair and that was the reason why I took to the streets in November, 2007 to support BERSIH 1.0 movement for electoral reform.
Calls for electoral reforms have fallen on deaf ears. The last time I walked the streets (with my wife) was on August 30, 2015 under BERSIH4.o. We attracted a lot of media attention but nothing came out it. Only Tun Dr.Mahathir got the attention he needed from BERSIH 4.0.
Since then, we have had a number of elections and by-elections. But our electoral process remains seriously flawed. Hundreds of millions of ringgits are being spent by political parties and the Elections Commission to tell the world we, like Zimbabwe, are a democratic nation.
UMNO-BN emerges the winner every time since our first in 1955. Nothing is wrong with that, if elections are free and fair and if the elected government serves the people. But look at the state of politics, economy and society since Najib Razak took charge in 2009, and it does not take a genius to tell us that we are in a mess.
Let us be generous to our dear leader and UMNO and give him the opportunity to run our nation to the ground. Only then will the Malays realise that our present leaders are incompetent, corrupt and irresponsible. They need to suffer the consequences of bad governance before they will react.–Din Merican
Zaid Ibrahim-Opposition should boycott all future elections
Zaid Ibrahim says Malays willing to tolerate the BN as long as they receive regular handouts while religious Muslims backed PAS because of hudud.
Disappointed with the outcome of the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, Zaid Ibrahim has suggested all Opposition parties boycott future elections unless drastic changes are made.
In his latest blog posting, the former law minister, registered his disappointment that Barisan Nasional (BN) won both parliamentary seats despite the scandals of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
“I hoped against hope that Malays and Malaysians wanted to keep democracy alive and that they would reject political parties that were corrupt or promoted extremist policies,” he said, adding however that the results showed Malays were willing to tolerate the “scandalous conduct of their leaders” as long as BN presented them with regular hand-outs.
He also said the more “religious” Muslims supported PAS because hudud, which the Islamist party was championing, promised them a path to the afterlife.
He predicted that if the present trend continued, BN would enjoy a landslide victory in the next general election and warned, “If the BN wins more than two-thirds of the seats in Parliament, this will open the door to major constitutional amendments that will have far-reaching consequences.”
He thanked Dr Mahathir Mohamad for doing his best to convince the people of the truths behind several important issues but conceded that the former premier may have been responsible for the present state of affairs.
“…his (Mahathir) administration did not bring about the reforms in education and democratic values that would have made change by democratic means possible.”
While the Opposition was largely blamed for what happened in the twin by-elections, Zaid, however, said that for as long as large scale bribery was condoned, BN would always win, referring to the cash handouts and promises of big projects during the election campaign period.
“The Election Commission is not interested to see a free and fair election, but merely to organise one,” he alleged further, adding that the Opposition was aware of all these violations but participated in the elections all the same and came down hard on themselves later when they lost.
“Since Najib has been given the divine right to govern, then maybe the Opposition should not contest any future election until 1) we have an independent Election Commission, 2) a complete ban on bribery and vote-buying; 3) an independent police force to enforce these laws, and 4) Anwar Ibrahim is released from jail.”
He was of the opinion that continuing to participate in future elections would only “lend a helping hand to make them (BN) look legitimate in the eyes of the world.”